“Following an in-chamber review, the judge ordered the private college to turn over specific emails “in their entirety” that he identified as not containing privileged information.”
This sounds like a complicated case. It began with an expulsion based on alleged retaliation.
The College Fix reports:
Dartmouth abused attorney-client privilege to hide relevant documents from accused student, judge rules
Dartmouth College hid “hundreds” of email threads that it should have turned over in some form to a former student suing the school for breach of contract and Title IX violations, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
It wrongly cited attorney-client privilege to completely hide the documents from Mark Anderson, who is representing himself, rather than make redactions to the privileged portions of the emails, U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe wrote.
Following an in-chamber review, the judge ordered the private college to turn over specific emails “in their entirety” that he identified as not containing privileged information.
Dartmouth also must review the documents not specifically identified in his order and turn over “all reasonably segregable responsive, non-privileged portions of the documents,” plus a “revised privilege log” explaining what it continues to withhold.
“The presence of counsel’s name on a communication does not render that communication privileged,” McAuliffe wrote.
He called it “puzzling” that the college withheld one particular thread between Anderson and Dartmouth employees, speculating that Dartmouth considered the thread privileged because it was later forwarded to its in-house counsel Kevin O’Leary.
In fact, the college had a habit of withholding email threads in which “nearly every email in the thread” was “external” – usually to Anderson – “except for the final email, or the final few emails,” McAuliffe wrote.
Expelled for charge that was never given to him
Anderson filed the suit under a pseudonym in January 2019. He accused Dartmouth of expelling him in response to retaliatory allegations by “Sally Smith,” apparently a former longtime girlfriend who attended a different university outside New Hampshire.
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